Photo credit: Tammy Kelly  Photography
Photo credit: Tammy Kelly Photography

CLINTON, MS – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team took control of the game in the fourth quarter and then held on for a 56-30 victory over Mississippi College Saturday in Clinton, MS. The Cru clinches the outright American Southwest Conference Championship with the win. UMHB also finishes a fourth consecutive undefeated season at 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the ASC. Mississippi College finishes the season at 4-6 overall and 4-2 in the ASC.

UMHB took a 7-0 lead when Zach Anderson hit Eric Nelson with a 24-yard touchdown pass on the Cru’s second offensive play. Marcus Wimby’s one-yard scoring run stretched it to 14-0 and Wimby added a 26-yard run with 12:08 left in the second quarter to put the Cru up 21-0. Jonathon Redd scored on a two-yard plunge to cut it to 21-7, but Michael Carpenter raced 73 yards for a TD just two plays later to give UMHB a 28-7 lead. Redd hit Matthew Rubal with touchdown passes of 78 and 17 yards to cut the gap to 28-21 at the half. MC would add a 22-yard Hunter Estess field goal to pull to within 28-24 early in the third. Anderson hooked up with Nelson on a 56-yard scoring strike to push it to 35-24, but Redd hit Stacey Dillard with a one-yard TD toss to close the gap to 35-30. The Cru then took over in the fourth as Jake Bumgardner scored on a two-yard run, Anderson threw a two-yard TD pass to Colton Jacob and Glen Gilliam closed out the scoring with a three-yard run to provide the final margin.

The Cru finished with 383 rushing yards and 563 yards of total offense to help overcome three turnovers. The Choctaws rolled up 384 yards of total offense, but threw three interceptions.

Elijah Hudson ran for 103 yards for UMHB and Anderson was 14-20 passing for 180 yards and three scores. Cody Jones led the Cru with nine total tackles and he intercepted two passes.

Redd went 24-38 through the air for 250 yards and three scores and he added 79 yards and a TD on the ground. Rubal caught three passes for 108 yards and two scores. Jake Weddle posted a game-high 18 tackles to lead the Choctaw defense.

UMHB will now advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships for the tenth straight season and the 12th time in the last 13 years. The Cru has won or shared 11 ASC titles and stretched its regular season winning streak to 44 straight games. UMHB has won 32 consecutive ASC games and 65 of its last 66 league contests. The 32-team field for the NCAA Division III National Championships will be announced in at 5:00 PM Central Time on Sunday.